Mazda: New generation CX-30 and MX-30 with SKYACTIV-X engine
Maintaining the medium-term management plan, but extending the period by one year
New Mazda Toyota plant under construction in Alabama
This report focuses on the developments at Mazda over the past year.
Mazda launched a new generation of mainstream products (first the Mazda 3, and second the CX-30 compact crossover SUV) starting in 2019, as well as SKYACTIV-X-powered versions of both models. Mazda will begin leasing its third new generation model, Mazda's first EV, the MX-30, by the end of FY2020.
In November 2019, the company created a six-year medium-term management plan for FY2019 to FY2024. The plan looks back on the current product generation for the previous seven years from FY2012, when the first generation CX-5 was introduced, to further improve Mazda’s brand value and increase pricing coverage. During this period, Mazda will also introduce a rear-wheel-drive, straight-six Large Architecture model, and announced that it aims to sell 1.8 million units, generate sales of approximately JPY 4.5 trillion, and achieve an operating profit margin of 5% in FY2024, the final year of the plan.
However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Mazda posted net sales of JPY 376.7 billion (down 55.6% y/y) and an operating loss of JPY 45.3 billion in Q1 (April-June) of FY2020. Mazda expects sales to return to positive growth in the second half of FY2020 and profit levels to recover and the company to return to profitability in the next fiscal year. However, due to the slowdown in the first half of the year, the company expects net sales of JPY 2.85 trillion (down 16.9%), an operating loss of JPY 40 billion, and a net loss of JPY 90 billion for the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.
As for its medium-term management plan, the company will maintain the basic direction and revise the details of the plan because of the uncertainty of market demand. The company will introduce new products and derivative vehicles and make capital investments in a phased manner in line with the recovery in demand and sales growth. As for the numerical plan, the timing for achieving the above targets for the plan will be extended by one year to FY2025, but the sales and profit targets will remain unchanged. Details of the revised medium-term management plan will be announced later this fall.
In the U.S., which is Mazda's largest market by country, the CX-30 launched at the end of 2019 contributed to the company’s strong performance during the January to June 2020 period, with sales of 129,000 units (down 7.0%), despite the 23.5% decline in the overall U.S. light vehicle market. The company’s new Alabama plant, which is under construction jointly with Toyota, plans to produce 150,000 SUVs each for Mazda and Toyota annually starting at the end of 2021.
Tokyo Motor Show 2019: Exhibits by Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki and Daihatsu（Dec. 2019）
Mazda: Launches 2nd generation SKYACTIV engine featured in Mazda3 and CX-30（Aug. 2019）
Mazda's next-generation SKYACTIV-X gasoline engine technology（Dec. 2017）
Introduction of the new generation CX-30 and MX-30 models and SKYACTIV-X engine
In 2019, Mazda launched the first two new generation products, the Mazda3, and the second, the CX-30 (excluding those vehicles equipped with the SKYACTIV-X engine), in key markets in Japan, the U.S. and Europe. Vehicles equipped with the SKYACTIV-X engine were released in Japan in December 2019 and January 2020.
As for the third new-generation product, the Mazda MX-30 compact SUV, which was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019, the hybrid version of the Mazda MX-30 will be released in the Japanese market in the fall of 2020, and an EV version is scheduled to start lease sales by the end of fiscal year 2020.
The second new generation product, the CX-30, was launched in Japan in October 2019
|CX-30 launched in Japan in October 2019 (Tokyo Motor Show 2019)|
In October 2019, Mazda began selling the CX-30 compact crossover SUV in Japan, the second of its new generation of products.
The size of the CX-30 is positioned between that of the CX-5 and CX-3, and is the newest model added to Mazda’s lineup in anticipation of the global growing SUV market. The CX-30 will be one of Mazda’s flagship models alongside the CX-5, with plans to sell 2,500 units per month in Japan.
The CX-30 provides a design that stimulates the senses of onlookers, mobility that makes it easy for owners to drive anywhere, a high-quality interior where people can spend time with family and friends, and safety features that allow anyone to enjoy driving with peace of mind.
With sales of 17,621 units in Japan between January and July 2020, it has become one of Mazda's best-selling models, outselling the Mazda2 (Demio) and CX-5.
Launch of the Mazda3 and CX-30 equipped with the SKYACTIV-X engine
In December 2019, Mazda launched the SKYACTIV-X engine-equipped Mazda3 in the Japanese market with the world's first practical application of Spark Controlled Compression Ignition (SPCCI), Mazda's proprietary combustion control technology, for its new generation of gasoline engines. In January 2020, the CX-30 was launched to market equipped with the SKYACTIV-X engine.
The SKYACTIV-X engine combines the expansiveness at high rpms of a gasoline engine with the superior fuel efficiency, powerful torque and responsiveness of driver inputs of a diesel engine to deliver a pleasing drive almost as though the car were an extension of the driver’s body as well as outstanding environmental performance. It also comes equipped mated with Mazda's M Hybrid mild hybrid system.
Combining the SKYACTIV-X engine with M Hybrid
Mazda considers the engine to be the mainstay of the vehicle. Mazda’s position is to make maximize use of the performance of the engine, which has already been refined to maximum efficiency, and pairing with efficient electrification technologies (what Mazda calls its "building block strategy") to enhance fuel economy and driving performance. The SKYACTIV-X engine will be equipped in combination with its M Hybrid mild hybrid system. In the European market, the SKYACTIV-G engine is also mated with M Hybrid.
The M Hybrid consists of four devices: a belt-type integrated starter generator (ISG), a DC/DC converter, a regenerative-friction brake coordination system and a lithium-ion battery. The expanded engine stop range contributes to increased fuel economy, while the ISG enables the system to restart the engine at low rpms when the vehicle returns to motion.
The main focus is on improving fuel efficiency rather than power assist, and when the engine enters the high-load range, the aim is to reduce the work of the engine by the operating amount of the motor and improve combustion efficiency.
The installation rate of the SKYACTIV-X engine is approximately 10% in Japan and 40% in Europe.
As shown in the table below, the SKYACTIV-X engine installed in the Mazda3 delivers superior output, torque and fuel economy compared to the SKYACTIV-G engine. However, the price is approximately JPY 680,000 higher than the SKYACTIV-G model due to the addition of the newly developed engine, M Hybrid, supercharger, etc. Perhaps because of this, the percentage of SKYACTIV-X engines on the Mazda 3 and CX-30 sold in Japan remains at around 10%.
SKYACTIV-X engine in the Mazda 3 (Fastback Proactive version) (Japan specifications)
|Engine||Displacement||Max. output||Max. torque||Fuel economy (WLTC)||Price (tax-included)|
|Price difference||JPY 682,407|
Source: Mazda’s on-line catalogues as of mid-August
Note: The Proactive specification version is the base model of the Mazda 3 sold in Japan.
Conversely, Mazda states that about 40% of its vehicles sold in Europe are equipped with the SKYACTIV-X engine. In some major European countries, the SKYACTIV-G engine is also equipped with the M Hybrid system, which means that the price difference between the base models is just over JPY 200,000. In Europe, fuel economy regulations are stringent, and the SKYACTIV-X engine is highly evaluated in that respect as well. According to data released in the UK, the SKYACTIV-X base model emits 125 g/km of CO2, while the SKYACTIV-G model emits 136 g/km of CO2. (According to Mazda, the difference between about JPY 680,000 and just over JPY 200,000 cannot be attributed to the M Hybrid because there are minor specification and equipment differences between Japan and Europe.)
According to an Automotive News article dated January 20, 2020, the SKYACTIV-X engine currently has a displacement of only 2,000cc, and the company is considering introducing the engine into the U.S. market, which requires more power than fuel efficiency. All 2020 Mazda 3 models sold in the U.S. will be powered by a 2.5-liter engine, and a 2.5-liter turbocharged model will be introduced for model year 2021. Mazda has announced that it will use the inline 6-cylinder SKYACTIV-X engine for Large Architecture models, so the company may introduce a larger-displacement SKYACTIV-X engine in the U.S. once it has been developed.
The third new generation MX-30 product: Mazda’s independently-developed EV to be introduced in Japan by the end of FY2020
|The Mazda MX-30 debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019|
Mazda celebrated the world premiere of its first volume production EV, the Mazda MX-30, at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019. The MX-30 is the third of a new generation of products that will be added to Mazda’s car line-up.
The "MX" in the name is shared with Mazda's MX-5 Miata (Roadster in Japan), a two-seat sports car, to emphasize the sporty nature of the vehicle. It is powered by a 35.5 kWh capacity, prismatic lithium-ion battery and features a center pillar-less, center-opening door structure (which Mazda calls freestyle doors).
Mazda will introduce the hybrid version of the MX-30 in Japan in the fall of 2020. This model will be equipped with e-SKYACTIV G 2.0, which is a combination of the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 direct-injection gasoline engine mated with the M Hybrid mild hybrid system. An EV model variant is scheduled to be launched for lease sales starting sometime in FY2020.
The MX-30 EV model will reportedly be released in two types: a pure EV for the Japanese, European and Chinese markets, and one version equipped with a small rotary engine used as a range extender for North America and other markets that require longer driving range.
Mazda is participating in the Toyota Group's EV development activities, but developed the MX-30 independently.
Ended in-house development and production of commercial vehicles and switched to OEM consignment procurement
Mazda will withdraw from the development and production of commercial vehicles and concentrate on the development and production of passenger cars.
Mazda BT-50 OEM procurement from Isuzu:
The Mazda BT-50 is a sibling model of the Ford Ranger, a pickup truck originally co-developed with Ford and produced by AutoAlliance Thailand Co., Ltd., a 50:50 joint venture with Ford, which switched to OEM consignment procurement from Isuzu. Sales are expected to start in Australia in the second half of 2020.
The major specifications for the Double Cab, 4×4 model with AT for Australia are:
- Overall length x width x height: 5,280mm x 1,870mm x 1,790mm; Maximum payload: 1,065kg
- The BT-50 is equipped with a 3.0L diesel engine delivers a maximum output of 140 kW (190 PS) at 3,600 rpm and maximum torque of 450 Nm at 1,600-2,600 rpm.
OEM procurement of the Bongo's successor from Daihatsu:
Mazda used to manufacture Mazda Bongo vans at its own plant in Japan, while the truck version was manufactured by Press Kogyo Co., Ltd. However, Mazda has switched to having the Bongo vans and trucks manufactured by Daihatsu in Indonesia on an OEM consignment basis, and the vehicles will be based upon the Daihatsu Gran Max platform. With sales scheduled to begin in September 2020, the vehicles are equipped with a 1,500cc gasoline engine and either a 4-speed automatic transmission or 5-speed manual transmission.
Q1 2020 (April-June) financial results: Sales volume down 30%, operating loss JPY 45.3 billion
In the first quarter of FY2020, Mazda’s global sales volume was 244,000 units (down 30.8% from the previous fiscal year), net sales were JPY 376.7 billion (down 55.6%), operating loss was JPY 45.3 billion, net loss was JPY 66.7 billion (JPY 20.5 billion was recorded as an extraordinary loss due to suspension of operations), and free cash flow was negative at JPY 151.1 billion. The company said it had raised JPY 290 billion in funding to bolster its liquidity, and also held discussions with local suppliers about employment preservation and cash management.
Forecast for FY2020: Net loss of JPY 90 billion
Regarding the full-year forecast for FY2020, the company expects sales to return to positive growth in the second half of the year compared to 2019 and profit levels to recover and return to profitability. In line with the recovery in demand, the company will strive for a steady recovery in sales, while reducing fixed costs such as advertising and R&D expenses.
For the full year FY2020, being unable to recover from the losses incurred in H1 of 2020, Mazda is forecasting a global sales volume of 1.3 million units (down 20.1%), net sales of JPY 2.85 trillion (down 16.9%), operating loss of JPY 40 billion, and a net loss of JPY 90 billion.
|Summary of this fiscal year’s initiative||Full year forecast highlights|
Source: FY 2020 first quarter financial results (announced in July 2020)
Consolidated financial results
(in millions of JPY)
|FY 2017||FY 2018||FY 2019||FY 2020||Apr.-Jun. 2019||Apr.-Jun. 2020|
|Net income (note)||112,057||63,155||12,131||(90,000)||-||5,240||(66,691)|
|R & D costs||136,000||134,700||135,000||130,000||-3.7%||33,800||29,700|
(note) Net income attributable to owners of the parent
Global sales by region
|FY 2017||FY 2018||FY 2019||FY 2020||Apr.-Jun. 2019||Apr.-Jun. 2020|
Medium-Term Management Plan: Aiming for qualitative growth and brand value improvement
In May 2019, Mazda announced its six-year medium-term management direction for FY2019 to 2024, and in November 2019, the company announced its medium-term management plan for the same period.
Since 2012, when Mazda launched the first-generation CX-5, the company has been working to achieve qualitative growth and improve its brand value through its medium-term plans, the Structural Reform Plan and the Structural Reform Stage 2. Under the new medium-term plan, Mazda will further improve brand value, and increase the sales pricing per unit and residual sales values. Starting with the Mazda 3, Mazda will introduce a new-generation of products, and from FY2022 a new Large Architecture rear-wheel drive, six-cylinder product. Mazda will offer extremely high-value Small and Large Architecture products and increase pricing coverage accordingly.
Mazda is targeting to sell about 1.8 million units, generate about JPY 4.5 trillion in sales and achieve an operating margin of more than 5% in FY2024.
|Positioning of mediun-term management plan||Investment for brand value improvement (new technologies)||Sales volume plan|
Source: Mazda’s Mediun-term plan (announced in November 2019)
Revision of the medium-term management plan: No change in the basic direction, but it has been extended by one year to achieve the plan
The mid-term management plan is an expression of Mazda's vision for the future, and Mazda will continue to maintain this strategy. In particular, the following two issues will continue to be key to achieving the plan:
- Efficiently maintain growth investment that creates unique value (in the area of product technology development and strengthening its U.S. business (its new U.S. plant and strengthening its sales network)).
- In response to CASE-related domains, strengthen collaboration for CASE technologies, continue investment levels in new technologies to create unique values. *CASE: Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric.
However, considering the uncertainty of demand due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Mazda will revise the details of the specific plan, as follows.
- The numerical targets of the plan are sales of 1.8 million units, net sales of USD 4.5 trillion, 5% ROS (return on sales), and 10% ROE (return on equity) in FY2024, the final year of the plan, but the timing to achieve the targets will be postponed by one year (the numerical targets remain unchanged).
- Accelerate fixed cost reduction and cost reductions to lower the break-even sales volume.
- For R&D investment, the company will freeze spending on long-term elemental technology development for two years using model-based research and model-based development.
- Launch new products and derivatives in a phased manner in synch with industry recovery and sales growth.
- The company plans to launch its Large product architecture for the CX-5 and Mazda6 (former name: Atenza) from FY2022, and is making capital investments in a staggered and efficient manner.
Details of the revised medium-term management plan will be announced later this fall.
|Direction of medium-term management plan revision (1)||Direction of medium-term management plan revision (2)|
Source: FY 2020 first quarter financial results (announced in July 2020)
U.S. market: SUV production will begin at the new Alabama plant at the end of FY2021
|New Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant under construction in Alabama|
Mazda and Toyota are building a new plant in Huntsville, Alabama, which will begin production in December 2021, six months later than originally planned. In August 2020, the Mazda Toyota Manufacturing (MTM) joint venture announced it will invest an additional USD 830 million into the new plant, bringing the total investment amount to about USD 2.311 billion. There is no change in the plan to produce a total of 300,000 vehicles, 150,000 units each for Mazda and Toyota. The additional investment will be used to incorporate new cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and provide enhanced training to its workforce of up to 4,000 employees. Mazda will reportedly produce the U.S.-exclusive CX-7 SUV, which will be positioned between the CX-5 and CX-9 (no specific announcements from Mazda have yet been made).
U.S. sales did well in the first half of 2020: Down 7.0% in the U.S. market, which shrank by more than 20%
Mazda launched its first new-generation product, the Mazda3, in March 2019. However, Mazda struggled because it raised vehicle prices amid a shrinking passenger car market, with sales of the Mazda3 falling 21.5 % in 2019 compared to the previous year, and U.S. Mazda sales falling 7.2% year-over-year (y/y) to 279,000 units.
For the January to June 2020 period, sales of the CX-30 launched at the end of 2019 were strong, and sales of the CX-9 were also ahead of the same period last year. Total Mazda January to June sales were down 7.0% to 129,000 units, but overall U.S. Light Vehicle market sales were down 23.5%. Mazda performed well in a market where sales at Toyota, Honda, and Subaru were each down more than 20%. Also, sales volumes increased 10.9% in June and 3.4% in July, exceeding monthly y/y results for two consecutive months.
Mazda is proceeding with its Retail Evolution dealership design program, which aims to improve the image of its U.S. dealerships by refurbishing them in line with the upgrade of its products. According to an Automotive News article dated June 6, 2020, 128 dealerships have been refurbished as of June, and 6 to 8 stores will be refurbished each month, reaching nearly 200 stores by the end of 2021, and these redesigned stores are leading the way in sales.
Mazda's sales by model in the US
|Passenger cars total||150,555||119,714||104,547||80,018||45,512||28,633|
|Light trucks total||147,218||169,756||195,778||198,534||93,043||100,236|
Source: Automotive News
Sales Forecast by LMC Automotive: Mazda Motors’ light vehicle sales in 2023 will be 1.65 million units
（LMC Automotive, Quarter 2, 2020)
According to LMC Automotive’s sales forecast (Quarter 2, 2020), Mazda Motors’ light vehicle sales in 2020 will be 1.18 million units, down by 20.0% from 2019, mainly due to COVID-19 pandemic. Mazda’s sales will begin to recover from 2021, and will be 1.65 million units in 2023, up by 11.6% from 2019.
Sales in the USA, Mazda’s largest market by country, will be 259k units in 2020, down by 7.0% from 2019. And it will be 342k units in 2023, up by 22.9% from 2019. SOP of the Mazda CX-7 (J34A) at Huntsville has been changed from June 2021 to December 2021, which will contribute to Mazda’s sales in the USA from 2022 on.
Sales in China, its second largest market, will be 184 k units in 2020, down by 20.5% from 2019. Sales in China in 2023 will be 263k units, up by 13.5% from 2019, which will be, however, lower than the results between 2017 and 2018.
Sales in Japan in 2020 will be 189k units, down by 7.1% from 2019. It will recover from 2021, however, will hover around the level of a little over 200k units.
Mazda began producing its first ever BEV, the MX¬30, on 19 May at the Ujina plant in Japan. The model will debut in Europe and Japan. Orders are already being taken in Europe, but deliveries will not begin until the autumn. Despite the virus pandemic, BEV sales in Europe have been relatively positive, which may favor the MX¬30. Mazda will discontinue the Bongo, its original CV/Truck model, in August this year, thus signaling the OEM’s withdrawal from CV production in Japan. (Note that production of the Titan Truck is assigned to Isuzu). In the past, the Bongo was sourced to other OEMs, but Mazda appears to have made this decision to account for recent low sales volumes and the increasing difficulty of complying with tougher environmental and safety regulations.
Mazda Motors' light vehicle sales in 2023 will be 1.65 million units
|Mazda Motors total||1,564,410||1,598,841||1,477,467||1,181,381||1,402,455||1,571,926||1,649,236|
|United Arab Emirates||3,693||3,502||3,751||2,453||3,032||3,677||4,478|
Source: LMC Automotive "Global Automotive Sales Forecast (Quarter 2, 2020)"
1. Data indicate figures of only small-size vehicles, including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of under 6 tons.
2. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any data will require permission of LMC Automotive.
Mazda, Mazda 3, CX-30, MX-30, SKYACTIV-X, M Hybrid, CX-7, BT-50, Bongo, EV, USA, CIVID-19
<Automobile Industry Portal MarkLines>